COVID cluster identified at Southern Middle School

The Moore County Health Department, in conjunction with Moore County Schools, has been monitoring the status of confirmed positive COVID-19 test results associated with Southern Middle School.

Since last Thursday, eight students have been confirmed COVID-19 positive, which meets the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) definition of a cluster. A COVID-19 “cluster” is defined as a minimum of five positive cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period.

Guidelines for isolation have been provided to all COVID-19 positive students from Southern Middle. Close contacts of the affected students have been notified and advised to quarantine for a period of 14 days and to consult with their health care provider for evaluation and possible COVID-19 testing.

In an abundance of caution, a remote learning plan has been implemented for all sixth-grade classrooms at the school until May 12.

Health department staff are monitoring individuals who have tested positive and will follow up with anyone who is identified as a close contact. A “close contact” is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the infected person is isolated.

Individuals who have been fully vaccinated and for whom two weeks have passed since receiving their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine are not required to quarantine if they’ve been in close contact with a positive case.

All students or school staff can end isolation and return to school once the following conditions are met:

• 10 days have passed since the start of symptoms


• Fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication


• Symptoms have improved

A cluster is considered over if there is no evidence of continued transmission, specifically positive cases, within the setting for a period of 28 days.

You can find more detailed information regarding ongoing COVID-19 clusters in child care and school settings in Moore and other NC counties by accessing a report published by NCDHHS at:

Weekly COVID-19 vaccination clinics are available at the health department. To schedule an appointment, call 910-947-SHOT (7468).


Photo via Google Maps/Contributed.

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